10fold path?

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10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Thu May 14, 2009 4:04 pm

From here:
Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? In one of right view, right resolve comes into being. In one of right resolve, right speech comes into being. In one of right speech, right action... In one of right action, right livelihood... In one of right livelihood, right effort... In one of right effort, right mindfulness... In one of right mindfulness, right concentration... In one of right concentration, right knowledge... In one of right knowledge, right release comes into being. Thus the learner is endowed with eight factors, and the arahant with ten.

and from the Micchatta Sutta:
"From wrongness comes failure, not success. And how is it, monks, that from wrongness comes failure, not success?

"In a person of wrong view, wrong resolve comes into being. In a person of wrong resolve, wrong speech. In a person of wrong speech, wrong action. In a person of wrong action, wrong livelihood. In a person of wrong livelihood, wrong effort. In a person of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness. In a person of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration. In a person of wrong concentration, wrong knowledge. In a person of wrong knowledge, wrong release.

"This is how from wrongness comes failure, not success.

"From rightness comes success, not failure. And how is it, monks, that from rightness comes success, not failure?

"In a person of right view, right resolve comes into being. In a person of right resolve, right speech. In a person of right speech, right action. In a person of right action, right livelihood. In a person of right livelihood, right effort. In a person of right effort, right mindfulness. In a person of right mindfulness, right concentration. In a person of right concentration, right knowledge. In a person of right knowledge, right release.

"This is how from rightness comes success, not failure."


So we have:
samma-ditthi (right understanding)
samma-sankappa (right thought)
samma-vaca (right speech)
samma-kammanta (right action)
samna-ajiva (right livelihood)
samma-vayama (right effort)
samma-sati (right awareness)
samma-samadhi (right concentration)

And the other 2 are:
samma-nana (right knowledge)
samma-vimutti (right release)

I understand the last 2 to be fruits. Is there any sense in which they also can be part of "practice" in the broad sense of the word? Or are they fully absent prior to attaintment to the fruit of arahant?

:anjali:

[edit: to fix typo, changing the word "In" to "Is" in the first question.]
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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Individual » Thu May 14, 2009 7:16 pm

Jechbi wrote:I understand the last 2 to be fruits. In there any sense in which they also can be part of "practice" in the broad sense of the word? Or are they fully absent prior to attaintment to the fruit of arahant?

:anjali:

The Buddha used many different classifications. He could've made a 5-fold path, an 11-fold path, or a 100-fold path. There seems to be nothing particularly significant about a given numbering scheme or classification. See the Pañcakanga Sutta. As another example, take into account everything the Buddha said about self not existing, about everything not being self, then read chapter 12 of the Dhammapada. And lastly, if that doesn't clarify things, then there is the extremely, almost painfully cliche quote by Bruce Lee (here).
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Fri May 15, 2009 2:30 am

Hi Individual,
Individual wrote:The Buddha used many different classifications. He could've made a 5-fold path, an 11-fold path, or a 100-fold path. There seems to be nothing particularly significant about a given numbering scheme or classification. See the Pañcakanga Sutta. As another example, take into account everything the Buddha said about self not existing, about everything not being self, then read chapter 12 of the Dhammapada. And lastly, if that doesn't clarify things, then there is the extremely, almost painfully cliche quote by Bruce Lee (here).

I'm not in the least bit concerned with whether the number is 8 or 10 or 84,000. I'm not asking about the number.

Everybody here is very familiar with the Noble Eightfold Path and its eight aspects. I'm asking about the two additional aspects mentioned in the citations provided in the OP. With regard to samma-nana (right knowledge) and samma-vimutti (right release), the questions are:
Jechbi wrote:Is there any sense in which they also can be part of "practice" in the broad sense of the word? Or are they fully absent prior to attaintment to the fruit of arahant?


[edit: to fix typo, changing the word "In" to "Is" in the first question.]
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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Fri May 15, 2009 4:24 am

Any way, here's a talk on the subject. Just found it.
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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri May 15, 2009 4:32 am

the 8fold path is the path we use to get to the ten.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Fede » Fri May 15, 2009 6:30 am

In my humble, inexperienced and relatively uneducated opinion, I would think that -

samma-ditthi (right understanding) Leads to samma-nana (right knowledge)
samma-sankappa (right thought)
samma-vaca (right speech)
samma-kammanta (right action)
samna-ajiva (right livelihood)
samma-vayama (right effort) leads to samma-vimutti (right release)
samma-sati (right awareness)
samma-samadhi (right concentration)

The Eightfold Path covers many different attributes or Virtues. As I see it, these last two are ably covered by the Eightfold Path.
:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Fri May 15, 2009 7:06 am

Hi Fede,
Fede wrote:The Eightfold Path covers many different attributes or Virtues. As I see it, these last two are ably covered by the Eightfold Path.

Interestingly, not everyone thinks so. Like here, for example:
But the Noble Eightfold Path, it must be clearly noted, ends at the eighth item of samadhi. The Path itself proceeds no more. The pursuer of the Path needs, beyond this, the wisdom of nana [= panna] as the ninth item and the consequent release or vimutti as the tenth before he comes to be called the arahant or the accomplished one ...
There's quite a bit of writing out there to suggest that these last two factors are not regarded as part of the Eightfold Path. I'm wondering, though, if there's general agreement on the question of whether, for example, it's possible for an ordinary Buddhist to "practice" samma-nana at all as one might "practice" one of the 8 aspects -- or if the notion of "practicing" samma-nana is completely invalid. I'm getting the impression that the latter is the case. Also, it looks like samma-nana sometimes is confused with samma-ditthi.

I think this has been discussed somewhat over at the Yahoo group, but I'm horrible at navigating that place.

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Re: 10fold path?

Postby appicchato » Fri May 15, 2009 10:07 am

Jechbi wrote:...the Noble Eightfold Path, it must be clearly noted, ends at the eighth item of samadhi. The Path itself proceeds no more.


This is not the way it works folks...according to my understanding that is...it's not a sequential proposition, starting with Right View, and ending with Right Concentration...you don't have to have Right Livelihood before you get Right Effort...and you don't have to have Right Speech before you get Right Action...isn't that evident?... :coffee:
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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Fede » Fri May 15, 2009 1:20 pm

....Durnit.... ya beat me to it..... :tongue:

The Path is often illustrated as a wheel... hard to know where it begins or ends, isn't it? :thinking:

;)

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Fri May 15, 2009 2:42 pm

Thanks, Venerable and Fede.

appicchato wrote:This is not the way it works folks...according to my understanding that is...it's not a sequential proposition, starting with Right View, and ending with Right Concentration...you don't have to have Right Livelihood before you get Right Effort...and you don't have to have Right Speech before you get Right Action...isn't that evident?... :coffee:


That's been my perspective for some time, but I'm trying to keep an open mind. I've also had the perspective (without really examining it thoroughly) that samma-nana is possible to incorporate as part of practice. Now I'm wondering if that assumption is nothing but pure ego and delusion.

From my perspective, if it's true that samma-nana is NOT possible to incorporate as part of practice, that's fine. I'll keep on practicing the 8fold path to the best of my ability. But personally I would like to arrive at a more correct understanding of Dhamma. So whether the 8 aspects of the Path run sequentially or concurrently (and I suspect there's some truth in each understanding, and that it's not a black-and-white matter of one or the other) is not something I'm too concerned about.

My question is not about whether the 8fold path occurs sequentially or concurrently. I'm wondering whether the last two elements (samma-nana and samma-vimutti) run concurrently with the rest of the 8fold path as courses of practice prior to attainment to the fruit of arahant. Or do they only come after? It seems like you're saying that samma-nana and samma-vimutti can run concurrently and be part of our practice of the 8fold path. Am I understanding you correctly? I'm not taking a position at this moment. I would simply like to have a clearer understanding of this.

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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Fede » Fri May 15, 2009 2:48 pm

Whilst there may be many 'opinions' and views given, I think for my part you are pursuing the right approach, and investigating matters until you reach a level of personal satisfaction. I/we might agree, or otherwise.
Actually, that is irrelevant. Providing you take different Points of View on board (which you are doing, no argument there!), I don't think anyone can be as persuasive to you as your own personal conviction.

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Fri May 15, 2009 2:53 pm

Thanks, Fede. I'm hoping this discussion helps create the framework for a more correct understanding of practice.

(Also, as a side-note, I would like to clarify that I did not write this:
appicchato wrote:
Jechbi wrote:...the Noble Eightfold Path, it must be clearly noted, ends at the eighth item of samadhi. The Path itself proceeds no more.
The author was Bhikkhu Professor Dhammavihari.)

:anjali:
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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Sat May 16, 2009 4:12 am

Ok, I'm going to take a position now with regard to samma-nana and samma-vimutti. I stand to be corrected:
Jechbi wrote:Is there any sense in which they also can be part of "practice" in the broad sense of the word?

Yes.
Jechbi wrote:Or are they fully absent prior to attaintment to the fruit of arahant?

No.

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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat May 16, 2009 4:31 pm

hi Jechbi,
Could you elaborate on your reasoning for your answers I potentially agree just wondering if we are on the sape page so to speak?

Jechbi wrote:Ok, I'm going to take a position now with regard to samma-nana and samma-vimutti. I stand to be corrected:
Jechbi wrote:Is there any sense in which they also can be part of "practice" in the broad sense of the word?

Yes.
Jechbi wrote:Or are they fully absent prior to attaintment to the fruit of arahant?

No.

:thinking:
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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Sat May 16, 2009 4:48 pm

Well, in terms of samma-nana, I take that to mean panna or insight. Seems to me that as we progress in practice (in the broad sense of the term "practice," meaning practice of the full 8fold path), we attain to insight in small, imperfect measures even before we have attained to any ariya fruit.

And in terms of samm-vimutti, as we progress in practice in the sense mentioned above, we can get a better (yet still flawed) understanding of what nibbana is, even if we can't put it into words, and even if we haven't attained to any ariya fruit. We might get a "taste" of nibbana, so to speak.

I feel more confident about the first position, and less confident about the second. I don't feel fully confident about either position. I'd be interested in hearing clarification about these ideas from the perspective of scripture as well as from the perspective of practice.

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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Sun May 17, 2009 5:58 am

Relevant to this topic, I've found some discussion regarding the division of the 8fold path into sila, samadhi and panna (the tayo khandha or tisso sikkha). I've understood it like this:

Sila
samma-vaca (right speech)
samma-kammanta (right action)
samna-ajiva (right livelihood)

Samadhi
samma-vayama (right effort)
samma-sati (right awareness)
samma-samadhi (right concentration)

Panna
samma-ditthi (right understanding)
samma-sankappa (right thought)

Yet in some places, such as in this article, one finds things such as this:
Professor Dhammavihari Thero wrote:At this stage, it is important for serious students of Buddhism to note that it is the addition of items nine and ten to the eight-fold path which gets the Buddhist spiritual aspirant to his final goal in Nirvana. The Eight-fold Path itself is therefore seen to be shorter and much less than the total Buddhist culture leading up to Nirvana. On the other hand, we are also introduced to a system of complete Buddhist spiritual culture consisting of the three stages of sila, samadhi and panna and is known as tisso sikkha. This takes a Buddhist aspirant from the basic ground level of sila or moral goodness to the final stage of Nirvana with its third item of culture, namely panna, through the interim process of mind-culture or samadhi. They are severally referred to as adhi-sila-sikkha, adhi-citta-sikha and adhi-panna-sikkha. That constitutes the intense or higher grade culture of moral goodness, mind development and wisdom acquisition.

The well-known Cullvedalla Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya, delivered by Theri Dhammadinna to her erstwhile husband Visakha, tells us very clearly that while the threefold group of culture [tayo khandha] can contain within it the Eightfold Path, the Eightfold Path cannot contain within it the threefold culture [tayo khandha], This unmistakably supports our view that wisdom or panna of the threefold culture of sikkha lies well beyond the Eightfold Path. We have already shown above that it lies as No. 9 [= samma nana which is the equivalent of panna] after samma samadhi, well outside the Path [samma samadhissa samma nanam pahoti]. By no endeavor whatsoever can samma ditthi of the Path be equated to panna of the threefold culture. Thus it makes very little sense, or no sense at all, to divide the Eightfold Path into three in terms of the tisso sikkha.

Is this an idiosyncratic position of Professor Dhammavihari? Or is there some real disagreement on this issue? Or (also possible) am I misunderstanding this discussion? These arguments seem to be similar to some views I've encountered related to the potential ego-related pitfalls of meditation practice.

Any informed insights welcome.
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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Wed May 20, 2009 5:10 am

Hi Fede,

This is the best comment in this entire thread:
Fede wrote:I don't think anyone can be as persuasive to you as your own personal conviction.

Thanks. I've decided I'm just not going to have a personal conviction about this question. It just doesn't matter. I'm finished with it.
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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Dhammanando » Thu May 21, 2009 6:14 am

Hi Jechbi,

In the commentaries right knowledge is usually defined as the “nineteenfold reviewing knowledge” (ekūnavīsatibhedaṃ paccavekkhaṇā-ñāṇaṃ). This refers to the reflections that may arise in a mental continuum after the attainment of Nibbāna, upon the falling away of the fruition consciousness. In other words, the sixteenth vipassanā ñāṇa.

As described in the Visuddhimagga (XXII 19-21):

    After re-entry into the existence-continuum, adverting etc. arise again in the same way for the purpose of reviewing fruition, and so on. With the arising of these he reviews the path, he reviews the fruition, he reviews the defilements abandoned, he reviews the defilements still remaining, and he reviews Nibbāna.

    1. He reviews the path in this way: ‘So this is the path I have come by.’
    2. Next he reviews the fruition in this way: ‘This is the blessing I have obtained.’
    3. Next he reviews the defilements that have been abandoned: ‘These are the defilements abandoned in me.’
    4. Next he reviews the defilements still to be eliminated by the three higher paths: ‘These are the defilements still remaining in me.’
    5. Lastly he reviews the deathless Nibbāna in this way: ‘This is the dhamma that has been penetrated by me as object.’

    So the noble disciple who is a stream-enterer has five kinds of reviewing. And as in the case of the stream-enterer, so also in the cases of the once-returner and the non-returner. But for the arahant there is no reviewing of remaining defilements. So in all the various kinds of reviewing total nineteen. This is the maximum number.

    But for trainees [sekha] there may or may not arise the reviewing of the defilements abandoned and those still remaining. In fact it was owing to the absence of such reviewing that Mahānāma asked the Blessed One: ‘What dhamma is there still unabandoned by me internally, owing to which at times states of greed invade my mind and remain?’ (Cūḷadukkhakkhandha Sutta, MN. 14)


As for right release, in the commentary to the Sallekha Sutta this is defined:

    phalasampayuttāni pana sammādiṭṭhi-ādīni aṭṭhaṅgāni ṭhapetvā sesadhammā ‘sammāvimuttī.’ ti veditabbā.

    “Setting aside the eight factors associated with [ariyan] fruition, beginning with right view [i.e. all the factors of the eightfold path], the remaining dhammas [associated with fruition] should be known as ‘right release’.”

‘Remaining dhammas’ refers to the trainees’ and adepts’ powers (sekkha/asekkha bala) and any other kusala things associated with ariyans but not included in the eightfold path.

So, that’s the general meaning of sammā-vimutti, though there are also a few contexts where the commentators define it more narrowly as fruition attainment (phala-samāpatti).

Jechbi: I understand the last 2 to be fruits. Is there any sense in which they also can be part of ‘practice’ in the broad sense of the word?


In the Suttas (e.g., AN. v. 310) the Buddha states that they are to be developed (bhāvetabba). So in that sense they are a part of practice. But their development doesn’t proceed in the same deliberative fashion as that of other kusala states. Sīla, for example, is developed by undertaking the precepts, resolving to keep them, and engaging in salutary reflections conducive to shame (hiri) and regard-for-consequence (ottappa) on those occasions when one feels like breaking one. But right knowledge and right release aren’t developed with this kind of forethought; they arise due to the impetus of strong insight (balava-vipassanā), without any effort to make them arise.

On the other hand, at an earlier stage than strong insight it is possible to cultivate what the Sallekha Sutta calls a cittuppāda –an inclination or an arising of thought– with respect to right knowledge and right release:

    pare micchāñāṇī bhavissanti, mayamettha sammāñāṇī bhavissāmā ti sallekho karaṇīyo.
    pare micchāvimuttī bhavissanti, mayamettha sammāvimuttī bhavissāmā ti sallekho karaṇīyo.

    “Others will be of wrong knowledge; we shall be of right knowledge here” – effacement should be practised thus.
    “Others will be of wrong release; we shall be of right release here” – effacement should be practised thus.
    (MN. i. 42)

Such an arising of thought is described in the commentary to this sutta as a ‘preliminary cause’ (parikkamanassa hetu) and a ‘factor conducive to the higher [state]’ (uparibhāga-nipphādana).


Jechbi: Or are they fully absent prior to attaintment to the fruit of arahant?


They are absent prior to the attainment of stream-entry.

Dhammavihari: But the Noble Eightfold Path, it must be clearly noted, ends at the eighth item of samadhi. The Path itself proceeds no more. The pursuer of the Path needs, beyond this, the wisdom of nana [= panna] as the ninth item and the consequent release or vimutti as the tenth before he comes to be called the arahant or the accomplished one ...


If the commentarial explanation is correct, then Ven. Dhammavihari has it the wrong round.

Jechbi: There’s quite a bit of writing out there to suggest that these last two factors are not regarded as part of the Eightfold Path. I’m wondering, though, if there’s general agreement on the question of whether, for example, it’s possible for an ordinary Buddhist to ‘practice’ samma-nana at all as one might ‘practice’ one of the 8 aspects -- or if the notion of ‘practicing’ samma-nana is completely invalid.


It would seem so. Even for the ariyan the ninth and tenth rightnesses are dhammas that arise, not activities that he undertakes.

Also, it looks like samma-nana sometimes is confused with samma-ditthi.


There are in fact a few contexts where the commentators supply a more specialized definition of sammā-ñāṇa than the one given above, defining it as the right view of an arahant.

Dhammavihari: At this stage, it is important for serious students of Buddhism to note that it is the addition of items nine and ten to the eight-fold path which gets the Buddhist spiritual aspirant to his final goal in Nirvana.


Again he has it the wrong way round.

Dhammavihari: The well-known Cullvedalla Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya, delivered by Theri Dhammadinna to her erstwhile husband Visakha, tells us very clearly that while the threefold group of culture [tayo khandha] can contain within it the Eightfold Path, the Eightfold Path cannot contain within it the threefold culture [tayo khandha], This unmistakably supports our view that wisdom or panna of the threefold culture of sikkha lies well beyond the Eightfold Path.


It doesn’t support anything of the kind. Bhikkhunī Dhammadinnā states:

    yā ca sammādiṭṭhi yo ca sammāsaṅkappo, ime dhammā paññākkhandhe saṅgahitā.

    “Whatever is right view and whatever is right thought – these states are included in the aggregate of wisdom.”

So, this doesn’t support the view that wisdom ‘lies well beyond the Eightfold Path’. Rather, it shows that right view and right thought are wholly encompassed by paññā, while leaving open the possibility that paññā is not limited to just these two things.

Jechbi: Is this an idiosyncratic position of Professor Dhammavihari?


I would say so. The professor, it seems, wishes to rely on the suttas alone, but sammā-ñāṇa and sammā-vimutti are never defined in the Sutta Piṭaka (nor even in the Abhidhamma Piṭaka), and there are umpteen things that get denoted ‘ñāṇa’ or ‘vimutti’. So if one takes a suttas-only approach one will have no option here than to resort to guesswork.

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Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: 10fold path?

Postby Jechbi » Sun May 24, 2009 4:33 am

Thank you very much, Bhante. :anjali:
I don't think there's anywhere else I personally could have gone for such a clear, understandable exposition.
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But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Jechbi
 
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